Of the many things we’re prompted to do when it comes to promoting our well-being— being mindful, positive self-talk, lifestyle adjustments—one thing we may not have thought of trying is gardening. So what does gardening have to do with our welfare? According to the research from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in England, quite a bit. In their recent study on the impacts of gardening on our well-being, researchers found it to have especially beneficial effects on people and their well-being.
Viren Swami, Ph.D., a professor of social psychology at ARU was the lead researcher in the study, says, “having a positive self-image is advantageous because it helps to encourage emotional and physical resilience, which contributes to overall well-being.”
And not only that, but he emphasized the rise in urbanization, which restricts our access to gardening space. He added that ensuring access to nature through dedicated and sustained community allotment plots is vital for public health. Our well-being encompasses a few factors, from appreciating one’s own body to a sense of gratitude of its actual functions, as well as acceptance of one’s physical “flaws.”
What is perhaps most promising about these findings is the evidence that just a modest share in a community garden is enough to see these effects. These are typically quite small patches of green space in otherwise mainly urban environments. And apparently, just a tiny spot of green space is enough to boost one’s body image.